Thursday, December 2, 2010

Indian Border Security Force Steps Up Modernization

Aerospace Daily & Defense Report Dec 02 , 2010 , p. 10

Neelam Mathews

NEW DELHI — At its 45th anniversary, the Border Security Force (BSF) — responsible for guarding India’s land boundaries during peacetime — is being transformed into a modern, technology-driven force, according to its director general, Raman Srivastava.

“We are pursuing modernization,” Srivastava says. Procurement plans include buying handheld thermal imagers, battlefield surveillance radars, long-range reconnaissance and observation systems, and biometric ID machines.

The BSF provides training for bomb disposal to state police and trains commandos.

The BSF also may purchase bomb-disposal equipment in the near future. With a sparse aviation wing comprising one Embraer, one Beechcraft and 14 helicopters, BSF is now looking at replacing its aging three Avros.

Three helibases also are planned in eastern India.

The BSF soon may be given the added responsibility to guard the unfenced 1,643-km. (1,020-mi.) India-Myanmar border to stop infiltration of arms and drugs and defend against militants that maintain their camps and training centers across the border.

This follows India’s concern over Myanmar’s plan to construct a six-lane road to connect Kunming in southwestern China and Chittagong in Bangladesh. The road will pass less than 20 km. from Mizoram in northeastern India.

Like the other paramilitary units, the BSF is under the administrative control of the Home Affairs Ministry.

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